Crowns are a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a natural tooth that has decayed enough to the point of needing a root canal or deep cavity. The crown helps to give the natural tooth strength and support, and provide a tooth shape when the natural tooth has likely been shaved down to get rid of decay and support a filling.
The most critical part of a crown is what supports it underneath: the dental implant. If you don’t yet have a crown and are looking for the right dentist, call us today to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Djuric is one of the leading implant dentists in the Gulf Coast and has over 25 years of experience in implant dentistry.
Crowns are typically made of porcelain or ceramic and are cemented to your natural tooth. Porcelain is actually harder than natural tooth enamel, but can still crack under extreme duress or pressure. While they cover the entire natural tooth and protect it from fracturing, crowns still require maintenance. The edges of the crown, called the margin, which are adjacent to the gums, needs particular care when brushing and flossing. Food can get stuck there and plaque can build up, potentially causing problems with the tooth and gums that could lead to infection. Flossing in between teeth that have crowns is also important in removing food and plaque.
Here are some signs to watch out for when maintaining your dental crowns
- Gums around the crown is red and bleeding – this is a sign of early gum disease and irritation. If the gums continue to be diseased they can recede and leave the root of the tooth exposed. If further exposed to bacteria, the inside of the tooth can become inflamed and potentially lead to the loss of the tooth altogether.
- Crown feels loose or wiggly – this may mean the cement has worn down.
- That tooth is in pain – there may be a crack in the crown or further decay in the tooth underneath the crown.
- You can feel a jagged edge. This probably means the crown cracked or a piece of it broke off and the crown needs to be replaced.
Avoiding certain foods like hard candy or biting down on hard foods is important in reducing the chance of cracks. If you grind your teeth when you sleep, it may be worth investing in a mouth guard or bite guard to reduce any wear and tear you may be putting on your crown.
Regular brushing and flossing with some extra care to the areas around a crown will go a long way to maintaining your crown and making sure the tooth underneath it stays in good health. Going to the dentist regularly so they can catch any warning signs of potential problems with your crown is also important, as addressing any decay or inflammation early is key to preventing severe damage to the tooth or tooth loss.
If you think you may need a dental crown, give us a call today at (850) 542-4428. We offer free consultations for new patients.